- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN.com polled 18 Baltimore media members for their top 20 players on the 2014 Baltimore Ravens roster. The countdown will run through the middle of July, just before the start of training camp. You can click here for an introduction on how the blog put together the rankings.
Let's continue the countdown ...
No. 13: Ray Rice
Position: Running back
Total points: 178.
Highest ranking: No. 4. Lowest ranking: Not ranked.
What you need to know: Rice had a nightmarish season and offseason. He averaged a career-worst 3.1 yards per carry in 2013 and then allegedly got into a physical altercation with his then-fiancee in February. This is an important season for Rice, who could get cut next offseason if he has a second straight unproductive season. Since the 2009 season, Rice leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 8,487.
Where Rice should be ranked: I had Rice at No. 9, although I can understand why he isn't in the top 10. It's tough for running backs to bounce back at age 27. But Rice has trimmed down and looks more explosive in offseason practices. I'm not saying Rice is a Pro Bowl runner, but he could surprise this season.
File this away: Rice became the Ravens' all-time leader in total yards from scrimmage last season with 9,214, surpassing Jamal Lewis (9,166).
What the Ravens are saying about Rice: "I can say he definitely looks good and he's running the ball well. Our guys are creating some room out there even with no pads on. We're creating some room out there and some holes, and sometimes that's tough to do in these kinds of practices. But I think we've looked really good and [Rice] has done a great job of pressing, cutting, getting in there and having the explosion afterward. He's shown a lot." -- quarterback Joe Flacco
Here is the panel of voters: Morgan Adsit (WBFF-TV), Clifton Brown (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Jerry Coleman (105.7 The Fan), Bruce Cunnningham (WBFF-TV), Steve Davis (105.7 The Fan), John Eisenberg (Baltimore Ravens website), Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV), David Ginsburg (Associated Press), Brent Harris (Comcast SportsNet Baltimore), Brett Hollander (WBAL Radio), Luke Jones (WNST Radio), Joe Platania (the Press Box), Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV), Mark Viviano (WJZ-TV), Aaron Wilson (Baltimore Sun), Matt Zenitz (Carroll County Times), Jeff Zrebiec (Baltimore Sun) and Jamison Hensley (ESPN.com).